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I quote below references to Bitterling as the list:
By Rev. Gregory C Bateman and Reginald A R Bennett. Published 1902, this book predates most tropical fish keeping so deals with many animals other than fish, and also deals with cold-water fish. It also has a marine section. In 1902 it was not known that the Bitterling deposited its eggs in freshwater mussels!
The male, during spawning times, assumes very beautiful colours, for which it has received the name of "Rainbow-coloured fish". The Gill covers, back, and the sides are of a beautiful violet colour, while on each side of the body, beginning at the centre of the caudal fin, is a bright green stripe reaching nearly to the middle of the body.Behind the gill-covers there is a silvery patch spotted with violet. The anal fin is a bright red edged with black. Altogether, the Bitterling during summer is one of the most beautiful of European fishes, as well as one of the most hardy.
The female, though not nearly so beautiful as the male, is, nevertheless, a handsome little fish. Her back is greenish-brown and her sides silvery. The line running from the centre of the caudal fin towards the middle of the body is of a blackish colour, and is sometimes absent
She has a curious possession in the shape of a long reddish oviduct, which sometimes hangs down from the body as much as 1in., or even more. After the spawning is ended it gradually disappears.
It is not known, I think, whether this tube, which is said to possess its own nerves and blood vessels, is used as an ovipositor, or not.
The size of the Bitterling, and its bitter flavour debar it from being useful as a food for man. As a bait for other fish it rarely has any attraction, except for Eels, and sometimes Perch.
It is widely distributed throughout the centre of Europe. It is not found as a native in Great Britain.
As food it will take, while in captivity, vermicelli, small worms, and ants eggs.
By Gunther Sterba. Probably the best authority on aquarium fishes. Published 1962.
Care in well-planted tanks with a layer of mulm and without aeration. Temperature up to 22°C. Omnivorous, with a preference for enchytraids and midge larvae. It is important to keep Swan-Mussels (Anodonta spp.) in the tanks as well, as the Bitterling needs these or spawning. Spawns readily in April after a cold wintering. etc.
By Earl Schneider and Leon F Whitney. Published 1957.
Community tank life seems to agree with this fish. Its eggs are deposited in fresh-water mussels and these mussels must be present in order to breed Bitterlings. This applies to the European natives only, for the American Bitterling is not known to breed with the use of mussels. Temperature 68-72°F.
Ay one time the Bitterling was used in testing humans for pregnancy. This test does not give accurate results and has fallen into disuse.
By Jonathan Newdick. Published 1979
There are no similar species and no hybrids involving the Bitterling have been recorded from British waters.
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Last modified: Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:09:57 GMT
Page first published 28th September 2004
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